|Publication number||US8025679 B2|
|Application number||US 11/062,510|
|Publication date||Sep 27, 2011|
|Priority date||Mar 30, 1999|
|Also published as||CA2367742A1, CA2367742C, DE60032225D1, DE60032225T2, DE60037352D1, DE60037352T2, EP1164954A1, EP1164954B1, EP1743585A1, EP1743585B1, US6875211, US20020052603, US20050192569, WO2000057801A1|
|Publication number||062510, 11062510, US 8025679 B2, US 8025679B2, US-B2-8025679, US8025679 B2, US8025679B2|
|Inventors||David Nichols, Eric Finley|
|Original Assignee||Howmedica Osteonics Corp.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (82), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (7), Classifications (5), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 10/012,127, filed on Dec. 7, 2001, which is a continuation of Ser. No. 09/535,776, filed Mar. 28, 2000, now abandoned, which claims the benefit of the filing date of provisional application Ser. No. 60/126,997, filed Mar. 30, 1999, the disclosure of which herein is incorporated by reference in its entirety.
1. Field of the Disclosure
The subject disclosure relates to implantable spinal stabilization systems for surgical treatment of spinal disorders, and more particularly, to an apparatus for connecting cylindrical spinal rods of a spinal stabilization system to one another across the spinous process.
2. Background of the Related Art
The spinal column is a complex system of bones and connective tissue which protects critical elements of the nervous system. Despite these complexities, the spine is a highly flexible structure, capable of a high degree of curvature and twist through a wide range of motion. Trauma or developmental irregularities can result is spinal pathologies which limit this range of motion.
For many years, orthopedic surgeons have attempted to correct spinal irregularities and restore stability to traumatized areas of the spine through immobilization. Over the past ten years, spinal implant systems have been developed to achieve immobilization. Examples of such systems are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,102,412 and 5,181,917. Such systems often include spinal instrumentation having connective structures such as elongated rods which are placed on opposite sides of the portion of the spinal column intended to be immobilized. Screws and hooks are commonly utilized to facilitate segmental attachment of such connective structures to the posterior surfaces of the spinal laminae, through the pedicles, and into the vertebral bodies.
These components provide the necessary stability both in tension and compression to achieve immobilization.
It has been found that when a pair of spinal rods are fastened in parallel on either side of the spinous process, the assembly can be significantly strengthened by using at least one additional rod to horizontally bridge the pair of spinal rods. An example of a cross brace assembly of this type is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,084,049. Devices such as these commonly consist of a threaded rod for providing the desired lateral support. The threaded rod is fastened to each of the spinal rods by clamps located on each end thereof. However, this configuration is bulky and can cause irritation of the patient's back muscles and other tissue which might rub against the device. A cross brace assembly that overcomes the problems associated with bulky stabilization assemblies by fitting closer to the spine, preferably in the same general plane as the cylindrical spinal rods, is disclosed in commonly assigned U.S. Pat. No. 5,989,251.
It has also been found that the distance between a pair of spinal rods located on either side of the spine can vary depending upon the anatomy of the patient and the manner in which the rods are secured to the spinous process. Thus, transverse rod connectors have been designed with adjustable bridging structures to accommodate this variability, as disclosed, for example, in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,752,955 and 5,947,966.
Most existing transverse connectors consist of rods, plates, and bars linked to the longitudinal rods by coupling mechanisms with set screws, nuts, or a combination of each.
These connectors require several components and instruments to build the constructs. Each additional component or instrument required to assemble the connectors adds to the complexity of the surgical procedure. Examples of connectors constructed from multiple components are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,312,405, 5,334,203 and 5,498,263.
It would be beneficial to provide an improved device to transversely connect spinal rods of a spinal stabilization system to one another which utilizes a minimum number of components parts and surgical instrumentation, and which has a low-profile so as to fit closely to the spine, and which may be easily adjusted during a spinal stabilization procedure.
The subject disclosure is directed to an apparatus for connecting two conventional spinal rods of a spinal stabilization system to one another in such a manner so as to provide an adjustable low-profile rigid linkage therebetween. In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the subject disclosure, the apparatus includes an elongated body portion and a clamp portion depending from the body portion for engaging a spinal rod.
Preferably, the clamp portion defines a deflectable clamp body having opposed clamp arms configured for movement between a first position wherein a spinal rod is received between the opposed clamp arms of the clamp body and a second position wherein the spinal rod is securely engaged by the opposed clamp arms of the clamp body. In addition, structural means are operatively associated with the clamp body to effectuate the movement of the opposed clamp arms of the clamp body between the first and second positions.
In accordance with one aspect of the disclosure, the structural means for moving the opposed clamp arms between the first and second positions comprises a cam lug configured for reception within a bore formed in the clamp body and adapted for axial rotation within the bore. The cam lug has a generally cylindrical body with camming surfaces formed thereon, and the reception bore is defined at least in part by interior walls. In operation, the camming surfaces of the cam lug are adapted and configured for bearing against the interior walls of the reception bore upon rotation of the cam lug within the reception bore.
In accordance with another aspect of the subject disclosure, the structural means for moving the opposed clamp arms between the first and second positions comprises an engagement tab projecting outwardly from an exterior surface of the clamp body, and a recess formed within the clamp body spaced from the engagement tab. In operation, the engagement tab is grasped with a tool and pulled outwardly to enlarge a gap between the opposed clamp arms.
In accordance with one aspect of the subject disclosure the elongated body portion has a predetermined span length for extending between a pair of elongated spinal rods disposed in parallel relationship. Alternatively, the elongated body portion has a span length that is selectively variable for extending between a pair of elongated spinal rods disposed in parallel relationship. Accordingly, the elongated body portion includes means for selectively adjusting the length of the body portion.
In accordance with one aspect of the subject disclosure, the means for selectively adjusting the length of the body portion includes a first body portion having an axial bore defined therein and a second body portion having an axial shaft for reception within the axial bore of the first body portion, and a locking ring for radially compressing the first body portion against the second body portion when the axial shaft is disposed within the axial bore. In accordance with another aspect of the subject disclosure, the means for selectively adjusting the length of the body portion includes a first body portion having a threaded bore defined therein and a second body portion having an threaded shaft for reception within the threaded bore of the first body portion.
These and other unique features of the apparatus disclosed herein and the method of installing the same will become more readily apparent from the following description of the drawings.
So that those having ordinary skill in the art to which the disclosed apparatus appertains will more readily understand how to construct and use the same, reference may be had to the drawings wherein:
These and other features of the apparatus disclosed herein will become more readily apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art from the following detailed description of the invention taken in conjunction with the drawings.
Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference numerals identify similar structural elements of the subject apparatus, there is illustrated in
Bone screws 18 have linear locking mechanisms of the type disclosed in commonly assigned U.S. Pat. No. 5,989,251, the disclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety. An alternative spinal stabilization system designated generally by reference numeral 10 a is illustrated in
It has been found that when a pair of spinal rods are fastened to one another in parallel relationship on either side of the spinous process, as illustrated in
The first embodiment is a variable length rod linking device designated generally by reference numeral 20. (See
Referring now to
Annular locking collet 28 is coaxially positioned on body portion 22 and is configured for axial movement along the length thereof, between an annular blocking flange 34 disposed intermediate the length of body potion 22 and a pair of diametrically opposed blocking ribs 36 a and 36 b disposed at the free distal end of body portion 22. In use, movement of the locking collet 28 between an initial position adjacent annular blocking flange 34 and a final position adjacent blocking ribs 36 a and 36 b causes radial compression of the distal end section 22 d of body portion 22, as the locking collet 28 moves relative to the outwardly tapered distal section 22 d of body portion 22.
As best seen in
The second body portion 24 of rod connector 20 is defined by an axial shaft having a uniform outer diameter along substantially the entire length thereof. The outer diameter of the axial shaft is about approximately equal to the inner diameter of the axial bore 26 defined within the first body portion 22, so that an interference fit exists therebetween when the two components are telescopically connected to one another during assembly. A retaining ring 24 a is provided to retain first and second body portions 24 and 22 together, when assembled, as a lip (not shown) on first body portion 22 engages the larger diameter retaining ring 24 a.
With continuing reference to
In use, rotation of the camming lug 50 within reception ports 46, 48 causes the lateral camming surfaces 52 a, 52 b to bear against the walls of reception ports 46, 48, urging the walls to expand radially outwardly. In what can best be described as a scissors-like action, the outward expansion of the port walls causes the clamp arms 42 a, 42 b and 44 a, 44 b to move inwardly toward one another so as to reduce the size or diameter of the gaps or channels 43 a, 43 b defined therebetween, respectively. As a result, spinal rods 12 and 14 are compressed tightly between clamp arms 42 a, 42 b and 44 a, 44 b, as illustrated, for example, in
Referring now to
Then, as illustrated in
Alternatively, it is envisioned that the rod linking devices of the subject disclosure could be shipped with the camming lugs 50 already positioned within the reception ports 46, 48 so as to reduce the number of steps required to secure the spinal rods 12, 14 to one another during a spinal stabilization procedure. Thus, the operative step illustrated in
In either instance, to securely fasten the rod clamps 42, 44 to spinal rods 12, 14, camming lugs 50 are axially rotated in a clock-wise direction within reception ports 46, 48 using an appropriate surgical tool or implement, such as for example, lug driver 75. This axial rotation causes the outwardly projecting camming surfaces 52 a, 52 b to bear against the interior walls of the reception ports 46, 48, urging them to move radially outwardly. As a result, an equal and opposite scissors-like movement of the opposed clamp arms occurs, causing the opposed clamp arms of each rod clamp 42,44 to tightly engage the outer periphery of the spinal rods 12, 14, as best seen, for example, in
While the operative steps involved in mounting and securing rod linking device 20 to a pair of spinal rods has been described with respect to a sequential order, it will be readily apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art to which the subject disclosure appertains that the order or sequence of the operative steps can be altered or modified. For example, in an alternative and preferred embodiment, the rod clamps can be secured to the spinal rods prior to setting the desired length of the linking device. In this preferred version, the camming lugs 50 are rotated to the clamps 42 and 44 on the spinal rods and then the locking collet 28 is moved axially to its final locking position.
Rod linking device 60 is preferably provided in several different span lengths ranging from about 16 mm in length to about 24 mm in length, in about 2 mm increments. Additional lengths with varying increments are also contemplated. Referring to
Preferably, the rod connectors 60 a-60 c would be packaged with camming lugs 50 already installed in the reception ports of the of clamps of each connector. Alternatively, a plurality of camming lugs 50 could be provided in the package separate from the connectors. The kit would also include an lug driver 75 for securing the camming lugs 50 within the reception ports of the linking devices. It is envisioned that kit 100 could also contain a plurality of variable length rod linking devices 20 a-20 c and an appropriate surgical instrument 70 for moving the locking collet 28 along the length of the body portion, as described hereinabove with respect to
To engage a rod clamp 92, 94 to a spinal rod, the gap 93 a, 93 b between the opposed clamp arms thereof of is radially expanded to allow the rod to enter the gap. This is accomplished by gripping a tab 96, 98 projecting outwardly from the leading edge of each rod clamp 92, 94 with an appropriate surgical instrument or tool (not shown), and drawing the outer clamp arm 92 a, 94 a away from the inner clamp arm 92 b, 94 b. The deflection of the rod clamp 92, 94 and resultant radial expansion of the gap 93 a, 93 b is aided by the provision of cross-slots 95, 97 formed in rod clamps 92, 94 which provide areas within which the upper portion of the outer clamp arms 92 a, 94 a can effectively translate during the radial expansion of the gaps 93 a, 93 b. Once a spinal rod is situated within the gap 93 a, 93 b, the tab 96, 98 is released by the surgeon, allowing the outer clamp arm 92 a, 94 a to return to its normal position. Thereupon, the inner diameter of the gap 93 a, 93 b is substantially equal to the outer diameter of the spinal rod and the rod connector 80 is essentially immobilized.
The body portions 122 and 124 of rod linking device 120 include deflectable rod clamps 142 and 144, respectively for securing engaging spinal rods rod during a surgical procedure. In contrast to the rod clamps of rod connectors 20, 60 and 80, described hereinabove, rod clamps 142, 144 do not include additional structures to facilitate movement of the opposed clamp arms 142 a, 142 b and 144 a, 144 b into a securely engaged position. Instead, the opposed clamp arms of rod clamps 142, 144 are simply snap-fit onto the spinal rods during a surgical procedure, so that the opposed clamp arms of the rod clamps are tightly engaged about the periphery of the spinal rods.
Although the apparatus disclosed herein has been described with respect to preferred embodiments, it is apparent that modifications and changes can be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the claims. For example, while each embodiment of the subject rod linking device has been described in conjunction with a particular type of deflectable rod clamping mechanism, it is envisioned and well within the scope of the subject disclosure that the various rod clamping mechanisms disclosed herein are easily interchangeable with respect to one another.
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|International Classification||A61B17/70, A61B17/58|
|Dec 15, 2009||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SURGICAL DYNAMICS, INC., CONNECTICUT
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:NICHOLS, DAVID;FINLEY, ERIC;REEL/FRAME:023649/0930;SIGNING DATES FROM 20000728 TO 20000808
Owner name: SURGICAL DYNAMICS, INC., CONNECTICUT
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:NICHOLS, DAVID;FINLEY, ERIC;SIGNING DATES FROM 20000728 TO 20000808;REEL/FRAME:023649/0930
|Dec 17, 2009||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: HOWMEDICA OSTEONICS CORP., NEW JERSEY
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:SURGICAL DYNAMICS, INC;REEL/FRAME:023668/0914
Effective date: 20020701
|Feb 26, 2015||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Sep 1, 2015||CC||Certificate of correction|